MyPlate vs. Harvard's Healthy Eating Plate

by Jennifer McGurk on February 26, 2012

As a Registered Dietitian, I help people make healthy diet changes all the time.  One of my favorite tools is the “plate method” as a general visual to what people should be eating at a meal.  Here is the USDA “MyPlate”:

(Source:– check it out!)

This plate demonstrates portion control and educates about food groups.  It’s a great visual for simplifying nutrition, which can be a very complicated subject.  You can visit the website and get a personalized plan and learn about proper portions, food groups, etc.

There is also Harvard’s version of the “MyPlate” graphic, called the “Healthy Eating Plate”:

 Harvard’s plate provides more detail and more detailed recommendations for each section of the plate.  It’s an extremely healthy way to eat… (maybe too healthy and unrealistic for some).  I agree with mostly everything on here though- with the exception of potatoes are good for you!!!  You may notice that the dairy group is quite smaller on this plate than the USDA (guidelines for dairy are a controversial subject in the nutrition world)  For more information, please visit Harvard’s website.

Whatever plate you choose to follow will improve your nutrition and help you on your journey to better health.  Remember the “plate method” when meal planning, out to eat, at a party, and even at the grocery store.  It’s a simple, realistic, helpful tool! 


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